In Chinese mythology, dragons symbolize the power and might of the seas (among other things!) The dragon was once the symbol of the power of the Emperor but has since become a less popular emblem. Still, during special festivals, such as the Chinese New Year, the dragon remains an important cultural and historical symbol. You can create your own Chinese dragon head for local celebrations with a few simple materials.
Materials required for how to make a Chinese dragon.
- Construction paper - several sheets in various colors
- Long sheets of paper (off rolls like bulletin board paper)
- Crepe paper in several colors including red, orange, yellow, green and blue
- Colorful markers
- Glue stick
Find a picture of a dragon's face in magazines or online to make Chinese dragon art. Choose a picture that shows a happy dragon, not an angry one. The dragons celebrating the New Year won't be the fire breathing type. Cut the picture out.
Glue the Chinese dragon head picture onto construction paper. This is the face of your dragon. Once you have the face you need to create the head and body.
Lay the long sheets of paper onto the floor. Once constructed, the paper will be rolled so it forms a half circle of the dragon's head and body. You and your students or family or friends will be positioned underneath the half roll of the paper to make the dragon slither and move.
Decorate the paper. Use the markers to decorate the paper body. Cut scales and wings out of the construction paper and glue them on to the main body of the dragon. Then use the crepe paper to make streamers along the sides and off the back of the dragon's body. During the parade, these streamers will make the dragon's movements look even more real and festive.
Once the dragon body is ready, line the dragon holders in a straight line standing on one of the long sides of the paper. Each person should then bend over and slowly pull the paper over their sides so that the center rests on their head and they can hold one side of the paper in one hand and the other side of the paper in the other hand.
Start walking. Have the dragon body parts slowly start walking forward in a swerving line. Make sure the first person leads and then each subsequent person follows. There may be some stumbles along the way but the dragon should be dancing along like a parade.
This is all you need to do to make a Chinese dragon. Celebrate the New Year or any festive holiday with this spirited and fun decoration.